There was a big win for Bognor but a big loss for Stirlands as division three of the Sussex League finally got going with its first full weekend of action.
Stirlands v Rottingdean
Sussex League division three west
Stirlands began their league campaign with a crushing nine-wicket defeat at home to Rottingdean.
Home captain Will Gubbins elected to bat first and had ambitions of setting an imposing target on what looked a good early-season wicket. But the innings started in the worst possible manner, and openers Barry Meaney and Stuart Hanks fell early on having accummulated only 13 runs, the former falling to Rottingdean’s star man M Smith who finished with four for 24 off 11.1 overs.
Gubbins was next in but was soon caught off his pads. Things got worse for the hosts as the next two wickets fell in quick succession.
Timh Robinson was out, bowled for three, and team-mate Chris May failed to trouble the scorers.
Stirlands desperately needed a calming influence with the score at a perilous 30 for five. It was provided by a partnership between Richard Gubbins and Struan Cameron, who added 54 for the sixth wicket.
Their resistance was finally ended when Gubbins (30) succumbed to the persistence of the Rottingdean attack, caught by Smith. The home side were truly up against it when the dogged Cameron then went in the next over.
Another flurry of wickets left the score at 86 for eight. However, late impetus was provided by the home side’s wagging tail.
Jon Pilmore (22) and Jim Lynch (17) moved the ball around nicely and ran well, and with a late spate of boundaries, were able to move the score on to 127.
Stirlands knew they had to come out firing on all cylinders, and they began with May bowling successive maidens. Rottingdean were patient but offered up six chances during their chase, none of which were taken. These dropped catches came back to haunt the hosts as their opponents were able to get over the line for the loss of just one wicket, taken by Cameron.
Stirlands captain Gubbins bemoaned the fielding mistakes, saying, “After we put a catch down in the first over, and a few more soon after that, we were always up against it, but I was proud of the way the team kept plugging away.”
Pulborough v Bognor
Sussex League division three
Bognor won the toss and elected to field with fiery fast bowler Jim Lee returning for his first league game.
At 111 for one Pulborough were looking to build a good total – but the introduction of spinners Elliott Clarke and Joe Ashmore put Pulborough in a spin of their own.
With the bombastic Clarke taking a fighting five for 50 and Ashmore taking four for 42, Pulborough were dismissed for 200.
Luke Seward’s men went on the hunt for victory which, after the early loss of Mikey Harris, they achieved with aplomb. Clarke played wonderfully for a fine 73 not out but it was the excellent Zayne Bux with a 111 not out off 125 balls that saw Bognor to victory by nine wickets.
Bognor 2nd XI v Pulborough 2nd XI
Pulborough put Bognor into bat and Andy McGregor’s maiden league 50 took Bognor to 251 all out.
Rich Cox (2-28) and Josh Broad (3-31) helped restrict the visitors to 119 for seven.
Wisborough Green v Stirlands II
Wisborough asked Stirlands to bat and Simon Everest and Mike Clowes put on 49 for the first wicket. New captain Adam Norris and Clowes continued the strong start and Stirlands declared on 230 for six once Norris had completed his maiden century.
Wisborough Green started very positively and Steve Calder-Smith struck a well-constructed 102. Wisborough won by eight wickets but Stirlands can take many positives after young bowling pair Danny Graham and George Briance performed well.